Author Jael Richardson Shares Freedom to Read Award with the Festival of Literary Diversity

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to announce that Jael Richardson and the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) share the 2019 Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually by TWUC in recognition of work that is passionately supportive of the freedom to read, and free expression. Past recipients include authors Gary Geddes, Deborah Campbell, Mohamed Fahmy, Lawrence Hill, and bookseller Janine Fuller.

The author of two books, Richardson was twice writer-in-residence at the Toronto District School Board, and speaks across the country about history, race, and identity in Canada. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity.
The FOLD is entering its fourth year as Canada’s only literary festival dedicated to the celebration of diverse authors and literature, in order to create a vibrant community of readers and writers.
Jael Richardson and the FOLD were nominated jointly by a Canadian author who wrote:
“True freedom to read requires an invitation to read broadly, to be challenged and inspired toward personal and social transformation, to meet characters beyond categories of likeness in order to build acceptance, empathy, and equality.”

February 24 to March 2 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada: a national annual celebration that encourages Canadians to think deeply about and value their right to read, write, and publish freely. The week has become a regular feature of the annual programming in schools, libraries, and literary groups across Canada. Freedom to Read Week is a project of the Book and Periodical Council, the umbrella organization for publishing in Canada. TWUC is a proud partner and supporter of Freedom to Read Week.

The Freedom to Read Award was presented to the FOLD team at On the Frontlines: Celebrating 35 Years of Freedom to Read Week, Wednesday, February 27 at Glad Day Bookshop (499 Church Street, Toronto).

For more information about Freedom to Read Week, please visit


The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.

For additional information:
John Degen, Executive Director                                
416.703.8982 Ext. 221                                       

DATE: February 27, 2019